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Why is my skin dehydrated?

Image of glasses filled with water and a few chamomile flowers

I am often asked:  How can my skin be dehydrated when I drink so much water?

To answer this, I need to ask a few questions of my own.

Have you recently tracked your water intake?

We tend to think we’re getting enough water, yet it turns out to be less than we realize.

This happened to me recently. I had started a group health challenge that included tracking my water intake. Boy was I surprised!

Now I give myself gentle reminders:  I keep a pitcher at my desk when working from home. I also keep my cup near the sink at the spa to sip, ok, gulp, between appointments while I clean up.

If you are getting enough water, we need to consider the possibility of transepidermal water loss, AKA TEWL.  

What creates TEWL? 

A damaged skin barrier (the layer of oil on your skin that protects your skin, and body, from bacteria, viruses, infection and keeps your hydration levels in check) will allow moisture to evaporate from your skin too quickly, leading to TEWL and dehydrated skin.

Determining TEWL

Does your skin feel rough, tight, dry, itchy, or is it easily irritated?  These can indicate a compromised or damaged skin barrier, which leads to TEWL.

Let’s see what may be contributing to a damaged skin barrier:

  • How often are you cleansing, and what products are you using to cleanse your skin?
  • Are you aiming to make your skin “squeaky clean?”
  • Are you trying to eliminate every last bit of oil on your skin?
  • Are you using a retinoid (Retin-A, retinol, retinonic acid, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene, trifarotene, isotretinoin) product?  If so, how often?  Is it prescription or OTC?
  • Are you exfoliating? How often?  With a product or a device? 
  • What is the temperature of the water you use to cleanse your skin?
  • Are you using an at-home device? What is the device and how often?

#Truth:  Approximately 40% of the population has a damaged skin barrier.

It is important to note:  Another reason could be a medical condition and/or medications you are taking or have recently taken.  These do not have to be medications related to a skin condition.  If a medical condition or medication is a cause of your skin being dehydrated, you must work with your doctor for a solution

Getting you back on track:

It starts with determining your skin type and using cleansers and moisturizers specifically designed for your skin type. Check out our blog post on determining your skin type here.  This will begin the healing process and ensure that your skin barrier won’t continue to be stripped due to incorrect product use.

Exfoliation and use of retinoids is a much larger conversation.  If you are exfoliating more than once or twice a month, please book a consultation or facial so we can discuss.  Consultations and facials include a skin analysis and can be done in person or online.  

Whether you choose a consultation or facial, in person or virtual, know that we will work together to get you back on track. 

Remember, changes in our skin take time and consistency to see significant results. It takes approximately 30-days for the skin cells being created as you read this to reach the surface of your skin.

At your first appointment we will discuss:

  • Your current home care products, routine, and habits.
  • How you want your skin to look and feel, and how to get you there
  • Exfoliation: Should you be exfoliating at home, how often, and the best method for you
  • What to do when your face feels rough
  • Why “squeaky clean” and removing all traces of oil is detrimental to your skin

Your Next Steps to Healthy, Hydrated Skin:

If you’re unsure which facial to choose, select the European Facial, 60-minutes.  This is a great introductory facial.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

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